‘Breakthrough’ plan to tackle NZ’s vanishing nature

Councils shouldn’t be forced by law, but rather encouraged, to map and protect biodiversity hot-spots in their districts, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) argues.

Under draft recommendations just proposed by the cross-sector working group, now being reviewed by the Government, councils would be directed to map in their plans “significant natural areas” for biodiversity.

Further, the Biodiversity Collaborative Group (BCG) recommended councils be made to ensure that any subdivision or development within one of these areas avoid harming or disrupting species living within them.

It also encouraged councils to protecting wetlands, restore natural cover in areas where it had been depleted, carry out surveys of species that moved between habitats and consider the impacts of climate change.

If progressed, councils would be required to work with tangata whenua, landowners and the wider community to set local targets and strategies.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council chair and head of LGNZ’s regional group, Doug Leeder, welcomed the recommendations.

But he questioned whether councils should be regulated to undertake the work.

Leeder said protecting biodiversity involved working with private landowners who were voluntarily contributing, and bringing in new regulation could compromise that.

Further, he said, councils varied in size and some rural councils covered large areas but didn’t have the resources of urban councils with bigger rates bases.

The BCG – made up of organisations including Federated Farmers, Forest & Bird, the Environmental Defence Society and the Iwi Chairs Forum – however recommended that smaller councils be assisted with central Government resourcing where it was required.

The recommendations comprised a proposed new National Policy Statement on Indigenous Biodiversity (NPS-IB).

National policy statements act as rulebooks that set out bottom lines for councils making plans under the Resource Management Act.

While statements have already been put in place for freshwater management, urban development and renewable electricity, this was the first time one had been drafted to save New Zealand’s declining native biodiversity.

BGC trustee and Forest & Bird lawyer Sally Gepp described the 18-month process as a “breakthrough” – there had been several unsuccessful attempts under previous governments to write bottom-line rules for biodiversity.

“Just as importantly, the group has collaborated to identify measures beyond the NPS-IB that should make a real difference for our native species and ecosystems.”

Federated Farmers board member Chris Allen said the group had agreed a “step-change” was needed to conserve the country’s declining species for future generations.

“With a significant proportion of New Zealand’s remaining indigenous biodiversity on private land, we want to enable local communities and landowners to continue their great conservation work on the ground, while also giving them certainty and clarity through more effective RMA plans.”

Gepp said New Zealand continued to lose its unique flora and fauna, largely due to habitat loss and introduced pests.

Of our native species, 81 per cent of birds, 72 per cent of freshwater fish, 88 per cent of reptiles, 76 per cent of marine invertebrates and 39 per cent of vascular plants are either threatened or at risk of extinction.

It was already too late for 32 per cent of our land birds and 18 per cent of our seabirds, along with 12 invertebrates, possibly 11 plants, a fish, a bat and perhaps three known reptiles.

“Without clear, directive policy, it can be hard for decision-makers to see the cumulative impact of incremental habitat loss,” Gepp said.

“The draft National Policy Statement is intended to help to provide a national perspective ensure native species, ecosystems and habitats are front of mind in decision-making about how people use, develop and protect natural resources.”

The effort stood separate to work on a new national biodiversity strategy, announced by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage last month.

NZ Herald

Harmony with nature

Nathan Lodge of Coastline Construction Group was completing a “spec” build in Tindalls Bay when he and his wife Kerri went for a wander. The area reminded them of where they had grown up on the North Shore, in the 1970s.

Impressed with the beautiful beaches of Matakatia and Tindall’s Bay “just a hop, skip and jump away”, as well as the proximity to shops and excellent schools, they started talking about buying here.

About 100m from the beach, they came across an original 65-year-old bach, a deceased estate that had come up for sale.

Though they didn’t move on it straight away, they were curious to know what it had sold for at auction, so they rang the agent.

Fortuitously, it had been passed in. So they made an offer and, to their delight, it was accepted.

After renting the property for several years, they approached Matt Hagan of Red Rabbit Architecture to design a modern coastal family home with plenty of sunny indoor/outdoor living.

“We didn’t like the generic paint and weatherboard look. We wanted to use natural timbers where we could,” says Nathan.

“We were really trying to capture the light and those beautiful north-east-facing ocean views. We wanted open-plan living and big, spacious rooms, not just the standard height ceiling.”

Everything in the house, he says, is oversized with generous rooms, large windows and sliders that open to expansive decks enclosed with glass balustrades — 150sq m in total.

They were keen also to recycle timber from the old bach to add a sense of provenance. It took a lot of work –— “a lot more than people appreciate” — turning un-machined heart rimu that had been in the house for 65 years into a beautiful staircase that rises from the entry to the generous entertaining area above.

Natural timber abounds throughout, complementing the heart rimu with solid European oak floors in the living area, on the kitchen cabinetry and under the kitchen island, as well as in the bathrooms.

Although the design is open-plan, Nathan likes the fact it has quiet spaces “where we can get away from each other”, including a second living area especially for the kids, central to the four upstairs bedrooms.

Having a large rumpus downstairs with a third bathroom adds another versatile place. It is filled with light and looks out to surrounding decks and lawns. “There is a whole lot of outdoor living in this house,” says Nathan.

Everything went to plan during the building process, apart from dealing with Mother Nature and the costs, says Nathan. Unfortunately, it worked out too expensive for the Lodge family, so they won’t be moving in.

However, he recalls some great moments, especially after they removed the old house, laid the foundations and got up and looked at that view. “You can see the ferries coming and going and the boats from the marina. The view is always changing.”

Nathan says neighbours were amazing throughout the build. “They made it easy. It’s a fantastic little community here with a shopping hub 500m away at Manly — an iconic Whangaparaoa town.”

He also recalls interesting finds under the floorboards. “We found some old newspapers with an article from 1960 with complaints about contractors delaying the start of the international airport. There were so many jobs in the situations vacant with some very un-PC advertisements that you just couldn’t get away with these days.”

• 5 bedrooms, 3 bathroom, 2* parking spaces.
• Land 809sq m, house 349sq m, plus 100sq m decking and patio.
• Price: $1,600,000-plus. Sale by negotiation.
• Inspect: Sun 2-2.30pm or by appointment.
• Auction: Oct 6, noon, on site (unless sold prior).
• Schools: Whangaparoa Primary, Gulf Harbour Primary, Whangaparaoa College & Wentworth College.
• Contact: Calvin Howarth, 021 0278 0341. [email protected],

NZ Herald

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Bubble Tea?

Tea is the most popular beverage in the whole world. There are different variants of this beverage and one of the popular variants is known as bubble tea. Let’s see what are the advantages and disadvantages of drinking this tea.

Following are the advantages of Bubble tea

  • As we know that Bubble tea is a Taiwanese tea recipe. This is known for its best health effects. The first thing that it does is the boost in energy. The ingredients in this tea are so nutritious and refreshing that after drinking this tea a person can feel very fresh and can give a good start to his or her day. Although the ingredients of this tea include sugar, it is sometimes good to give a good speed to your metabolism rate. As this tea already has sugar in it, you do not need to add extra sugar.
  • Along with the energy boost, this tea has other good properties to. Regular drinking of this tea protects you from many diseases and can give good protection to your immune system. Many of us do not know that green tea is a type of bubble tea, but we all know the good things that green tea does to our bodies. Drinking green tea on a regular basis can detox our body in the best way. The antioxidants that this tea has do not allow oxidized stress to come to your body and therefore increases the immunity. Along with that, you can even add certain fruits to the tea to have added benefits.
  • Before understanding about this benefit we will first need to understand what a free radical is. Free radicals are one of the parts of our body that keeps on floating inside. The increase of these free radicals can cause damage to our body and can lead to chronic disease like cancer. If you are a regular drinker of green bubble tea, then this can prevent your body from facing any such damage. This is by far one of the best benefits of drinking bubble tea.

Disadvantages of drinking bubble tea

  • We already saw the benefits if bubble tea and from that, we know that this is a beneficial beverage for our health, but drinking this tea regularly can have various side effects also. The first loss that our body faces with the regular serving of this tea is the weight gain. As we have already mentioned that has sugar in it. So, adding extra sugar is not recommended at all.
  • Along with the weight gain, a person who is drinking bubble tea on a regular basis can become diabetic. It is about calorie If the calorie is not maintained properly, then there are chances that one can have diabetes with the regular serving of this tea.

So, these were the advantages and disadvantages of drinking bubble tea. One should know about his or her body functions before having this tea.

How To Hire An AV Service?

AV or Audio Visual is the widespread use of both light and sound to carry out a message given out within a presentation. A presentation is usually given out using a slide projector which connects a PC to a large white screen. To get all the things and components right, it is important to choose the perfect AV service; whether it is a local AV hire Auckland or from someplace else. So here’s the best process one can adapt to hire an AV service for their needs:

Be Ready With Objectives

The very first things which you should take care of understand what you and your event need from an AV company. Along with this, you should also know how they relate to your overall objectives of the event. To get started you can ask yourself questions like who are the people who will be attending the event, what type of tone do you want the event to have and what will be the wanted outcome to such an event. These questions will help the AV service set up the tone of the function accordingly. Like, if you have an energetic audience and theme, then incorporating Projection Mapping can work.

Know the difference your wants and needs

Now that your objectives are in proper order, it’s time for you to take a look at the list and then sort them based on simple criteria of wants vs. needs. This mainly should be done for cost reasons. AV services can get expensive with the need to use various gears so once you outline what you absolutely need, it’s time to get outlining again. This time you will have to search out the estimated cost. Apart from this, this kind of sorting will help in incorporating new types of ways to keep audience engagement.

Time to hire

Now it’s time to look at various AV companies. When hiring them to get to know how much time will they need in regards to set up, if they will need to do any practice runs to make things run smoothly, how much time will be needed to take down the whole set etc. Once hired, make sure the AV company works with the presenters from as early as they can so that any issues related to the presentations can be sorted fast.

Take care of the challenges

The process of hiring an AV company isn’t all that easy as well. There are challenges which one has to encounter while deciding upon the service which is best for their business. Some factors to consider are that hiring one out-of-the-house service might actually be cheaper even though an in-house service can turn out to be convenient. Apart from this consider the fact that you would want to hire a service which makes a good impact and knows their business and job well.

These steps will help you better tackle the job of hiring an AV service which will work well for the event and the organization as a whole.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a fire engineer?

We all must have come across through some fire accidents. The person behind the rescue operation of the people stuck in these fireplaces is called a fire engineer. He performs a lot of duties. Let’s have a look at them.

To provide technical support to the staffs and team members

He is basically the guide of the whole team. His main work is to give technical support to the staffs working in the field. The firemen who work in the field is expert in using the tools that are provided to him, but he is not responsible for any issues that come in the functioning of any equipment. This is the duty of the fire engineer to take care of the functionality of the equipment required in the projects.

To inspect each and every equipment

If you talk about the fire station, then there is a complete set up where all the apparatus and equipments is placed already. Anyone can call anytime for help and a complete truck could proceed for helping. It is the work of a fire engineer that he examines the equipments that are there on the truck properly before it leaves the fire station.

To operate heavy and important machines

The selection of machines depends on the amount of fire that a particular place has caught. If a place has caught minimum fire, then all the machines are not required. In case of big fire cases, big machines like airbags, hydraulically powered cutters and cutters, special saws etc. are required.  A fire engineer is asked to go with the team to operate these equipments.

To deal with the hazardous incidents

You must have come across several incidents where a long building caught fire and a lot of people get stuck in that. This is considered as one of those incidents that could not be taken under control by the normal staff. So, for these incidents, fire engineers are required. The reason behind this is that heavy machine is used in these cases and they could only be operated by fire engineers.

To participate in various training programs

A fire protection program is definitely a fieldwork and people working in it needs a lot of training. There are different forms of trainings that the staff of a fire station goes through like physical training, training related to the operation of different tools and machines. It is the duty of a fire engineer to participate in all these trainings. He or she sometimes acts as a trainer also.

To respond to post-accident scenes

Apart from these things there are a lot of other activities that a fire engineer goes through like responding to the accident scenes. Reason behind this is that he has the knowledge of things that should done after accident. So, even if he is not at the time of the accident, he visits the place after it.

So, these were the list of a few of the duties that a fire engineer performs.

How to buy diamond rings online?


In this era when everything is done online, we still have doubts. This doubts increases, when we are going to shop a diamond ring for ourselves. In this article, we will talk about this in detail. Before you go and select a ring for yourself on any online store, you need to follow certain steps and these are the following:

  • You must be sure about your finger size. For this, you will have to first decide the finger in which you are going to wear the diamond ring. Now, this is advisory to decide the finger after doing a quick research about it. You can simply search that if you are wearing just one ring, then in which finger you should wear it. After you have decided the finger of yours, you will definitely know the size that you need. This will help you in leading your search in a definite and focused direction.


  • After you have confirmed the size of your ring, search for the design you want. Now, there are various ways in which you can select a design for yourself. You could simply search for the designs on the internet. For this, referral to a particular site is not necessary. You just need to Google the images. Apart from this, you can go to the particular website from which you are going to buy the ring and then search for various designs. If you are not satisfied with the designs available, you can order to make the ring according to the design you like. You can refer to the designs of diamond rings in Auckland to get some best picks.


  • After the size and the design selection, you need to decide your budget. The world is becoming very organized and we have the solution for each and everything that is there. If you have some low budget, then also you do not have to worry, as there are sites where you can buy any kind of ring priced at affordable ranges. Now, obviously the quality of the product will hamper, but you will definitely get the real diamonds. So, decide a budget before you go for shopping diamond rings online. You can make your work easier by deciding the carat that you want for your rings.


  • After you have done these important works, you need to do a little research about the online stores, which provide diamond rings. Now, there certain things like the loyalty, quality, and stuff that you need to see on the website. To confirm that the website is good enough, you will have to read the reviews that are there. Once you get the confirmation that the website is good, go ahead and shop hard.

Diamond rings are very precious and expensive; therefore we cannot take the chance before buying it and if you are buying it online, the risk increases. So, one needs to take care of all the above points, before shopping from an online store.